More than a decade ago, Green Lantern: The Animated Series hit television. The show focused on Hal Jordan (voiced by Josh Keaton) and his fellow Emerald Knights as they defended the universe from different threats. Airing from 2011 to 2013, Green Lantern did not find its footing, getting canceled after only one season, reportedly due to non-existent toy sales. Recently, however, DC took fans by surprise by reviving a pivotal piece of the show's lore in Young Justice: Phantoms.
Much like its 2011 live-action counterpart starring Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern: The Animated Series was not able to leave a big-enough mark in the Green Lantern mythos, but it did introduce a fascinating character: Razer, voiced by Jason Spisak (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Marvel's Spider-Man). Razer — an alien from the planet Volkreg — was a former soldier who had become a Red Lantern under the command of the villain Atrocitus following the murder of his wife, Llana.
Over the course of the show, however, the character became a hero, bonding with Hal, Kilowog and even falling in love with their sentient ship, Aya. Razer hadn't appeared in the DC Universe in a major way since the show's cancellation, but against all odds, he was brought back into the spotlight by Phantoms.
Razer in Green Lantern: The Animated Series
To understand his role in Phantoms, it's important to know where things left off with him prior to his reappearance. Throughout the final Green Lantern episodes, Aya was corrupted by the Anti-Monitor's body, having taken control of it after defeating the villain during one of the show's main arcs. The body's corruption led her to try to destroy the universe with the aid of an army of Manhunters (evil alien robots introduced in 1977's "Justice League of America" #140). In the show's final episode, "Dark Matter," Aya realized the error of her ways. She destroyed her Mahunter army and herself, but promised Razer she would never leave him.
Razer, however, was convinced that Aya was not dead, and set out to find her. As he flew off, a Blue Lantern ring (which is powered by hope) was shown following him. That leads us to Young Justice: Phantoms.
Episode 19, "Encounter Upon the Razor's Edge!," focused on different heroic factions from across the DC Universe (the Green Lantern Corps., Orion & the New Gods and the Justice League) coming together for a summit to discuss options for defeating Darkseid. Kilowog and Tomar-Re were tasked with representing the Corps. at the summit, but as they flew toward New Genesis, they received a distress signal, which they quickly discovered came from Razer, who was sporting a Blue Lantern uniform and ring. Razer told Kilowog that he got lost in space because he was unable to use his ring, given that it was powered by hope, and he had lost his.
He explained that he had given up his red ring to the New God Metron after becoming a Blue Lantern. Razer stated that the Red Ring was a burden to carry (he didn't want anyone else to be poisoned by it, so he guarded it himself), and he needed to be free from it to keep looking for Aya as thoroughly as he could. As time passed, though, he kept being unable to find her, and so, he went to New Genesis to get his Red Lantern ring back from Metron.
Razer in Young Justice: Phantoms
Razer met with the New God, who revealed he had fed him wrong information about Aya to make him lose hope and get his Blue Lantern ring to study it. The two fought, and as he was about to lose to Metron, Razer took control of both his blue and red rings, using their combined power to defeat him. After that, Razer felt better about his search for Aya, and set off to continue it. As he flew away, he said, "I will find you, Aya. I will."
Is Green Lantern: The Animated Series Canon to the Young Justice Universe?
Given Razer having the same backstory from Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and having Jason Spisak return to voice the character, fans wouldn't be faulted for believing Young Justice exists in the same universe as the Emerald Knight's defunct TV show. However, as fun as it would have probably been to have those mythologies co-exist, that does not appear to be the case.
Shortly after the episode's premiere, Young Justice co-showrunner Greg Weisman was asked by a fan on Twitter whether Razer's role in Young Justice: Phantoms canonized Green Lantern: The Animated Series in the HBO Max Exclusive.
Weisman simply stated "Adjacent," signaling that, while Young Justice shares some storytelling elements with Green Lantern, the shows are not set in the same universe.
Razer was a fascinating aspect of Green Lantern. His duality and internal struggle made him one of the show's most compelling characters, so seeing him back in action was a treat. It's unclear whether or not other characters or story elements from the Emerald Knights TV series will return at some point in the future, but going by Razer's recent appearance and Greg Weisman's comments, it seems the door is open for it.
Young Justice: Phantoms is streaming on HBO Max. Green Lantern: The Animated Series is available to purchase on Blu-ray.